Reconstructing Haiti

A summary of recommendations for moving forward following the January 12, 2010 earthquake.

All those delivering assistance on the ground must immediately work to coordinate within the UN established system and with the Haitian government.

All actors should ensure that the people of Haiti have a central role in the process of reconstruction and that reconstruction is equitable.

The UN and the US government are trying to ensure that there is adequate fuel to support the relief effort. Fuel supply will remain a concern for humanitarian agencies in the near term. In consultation with NGOs, the UN should establish a system to determine who receives fuel, for what purposes and in what priority.

The Haitian government, UN and international military actors must work together to improve the security situation, preempting a potential deterioration of the situation, with increased patrols, transparency in operations and clear conjoined rules of engagement and chain of command.

Protection, particularly for women and children, should be mainstreamed into the design of all programs, including any camps for affected people or expansion of patrols, in consultation with affected people and local civil society.

The government, UN, donors and other actors must ensure that efforts to restore and improve public services, infrastructure and economic activity prioritize poorer communities. In a socially divided society such as Haiti, there is a real danger that the better off and politically influential will secure their needs first.

It is not too early to lay a new foundation for Haiti's reconstruction and development with complete debt forgiveness, aid in the form of grants not loans and a "pro-poor" approach that prioritizes livelihoods and sustainable development led by Haitians from the start.

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